According to EuroSport, Red Bull are reportedly considering testing this year’s car after seeing the lenient punishment given out to Mercedes.
They know that it’s illegal, but after Mercedes and tyre supplier Pirelli were merely reprimanded by an FIA hearing in Paris last week, although Mercedes did pick up a ban from the young drivers’ test scheduled after the Silverstone Grand Prix, Red Bull (and others) were not happy with the punishment; so much so that Red Bull are said to be considering skipping the young drivers’ test and running their own, believing it to be of more value.
This is, of course, illegal, but according to The Times, Red Bull have already told Bernie Ecclestone that they would risk the reprimand for the gains from testing.
All in spite of Mercedes insisting that they gained no benefit from the test and no significant information, but there are rumours that they tested new components during the three days in May, and have done nothing to really deny this afterwards.
A source close to Ferrari told The Times: “How can a reprimand be enough to punish a team that struggled at the Spanish Grand Prix, tested and then won in Monaco? No one knew about the test, yet the tribunal does not seem to have investigated why not and what exactly went on. No wonder the teams are angry. They have had enough of the FIA. The threats might be empty at the moment but the fact that these conversations are taking place shows that no one is happy with Todt or the FIA.
“The crunch is coming and everyone wonders when and how. Maybe this is the time.”
The FIA are under great pressure to show their strength in governing the sport, and perhaps it could be argued that they may have ‘bottled’ it a bit in Paris.
The International Tribunal produced a 20-page document that explains its finding, and the Tribunal argues that “although both team and tyre supplier had made enquiries with the FIA regarding the use of a 2013 car, neither had followed through properly on conditions laid down by the governing body.”
So that says: you’ve broken the rules, but you say you didn’t mean to, so here’s a slap on the wrist.
I do more than that to the kids!
But, if the Tribunal say that it’s OK, it must be.
"The track testing, which is the subject of these proceedings, was not carried out by Pirelli and/or Mercedes with the intention that Mercedes should obtain any unfair sporting advantage. Neither Pirelli nor Mercedes acted in bad faith at any material time... Both Pirelli and Mercedes disclosed to FIA at least the essence of what they intended to do in relation to the test and attempted to obtain permission for it; and Mercedes had no reason to believe that approval had not been given."
But it didn’t hide the fact that: "Both Mercedes and Pirelli, accordingly, did act in breach of articles 1 and 151 ISC."
There was no real comment from Mercede’s rivals – although there was a pretty interesting Blog Post on Ferrari's official official website,
"Today we learned that even if one is guilty, and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can. One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles?"
What can they be talking about?